Sip in Style This Season at These Festive Hotspots!
Whoever says that San Diego can’t be a winter wonderland has it all wrong. For the entire month of December, restaurants and bars all across the city light up with glistening lights and decorations that shine through windows and draw in guests from open to close. As your hearts are filled with that warm and fuzzy familiar Christmas feeling, let your glasses be filled as well with creative, seasonal spiked beverages on limited-time food and drink menus! Get your fix of fa-la-la somewhere new every night of the week at these holiday pop-up bars in San Diego that are perfect for a festive night out.
What if we told you it was time to sit back, relax and take in the joy of the holiday season—completely stress-free? We’d call it a Christmas miracle. Experience that and the best of the holiday season by hitting the beach this year at Draft Belmont Park! Located right on the sands of bustling Mission Beach with an ocean view, this buzzy restaurant will immerse you and your elves in the Christmas spirit with 14 all-new spirited cocktails, as well as all of their usual favorite local beers on tap. They’ll also be offering a special holiday food menu featuring Wagyu lasagna, comforting winter squash soup and grilled cheese, truffle fries and a Pretzelcuterie board. Yep, that’s exactly what you think it is: a pretzel charcuterie board. This exclusive holiday experience runs from now through Dec. 31 and is open from 4-11 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Come thirsty for some festive cocktails and don’t forget to wear your ugly Christmas sweater!
Local Insight: If you’re looking to make more of your visit, step into Belmont Park‘s Winter Wonder—the ultimate beachside holiday experience with classic rides, family-friendly entertainment, festive activities, cozy drinks and holiday treats!
Location: Mission Beach
This holiday season, Rancho Bernardo Inn‘s Veranda Bar has transformed into a festive paradise with the “Miracle at The Inn” pop-up. From Dec. 1-31, guests are invited to step into a captivating winter wonderland. Here, at this enchanting venue, you’ll find a specially curated menu of holiday cocktails, each expertly mixed to spread warmth and cheer. Embrace the holiday spirit amidst the magical setting of Rancho Bernardo Inn, where every corner is touched with yuletide joy. This unique experience promises to bring the magic of the season to life, offering an idyllic spot for holiday gatherings and cheerful toasts. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the festive enchantment and create lasting memories at “Miracle at The Inn.”
Location: Rancho Bernardo
The rambunctious energy of the typical crowd lighting up the night in Parq Nightclub gets a bit of a chill change for Christmas with an all-new seasonal pop-up bar! Santa’s Lair is happening inside the nightclub (Nov. 22-Dec. 30) every Thursday through Sunday in the Gaslamp Quarter, decorated with glistening lights and garland at every turn. Cozy up with one of their featured Christmas cocktails, such as the Candy Cane-tini or the Winter Wonderland, before striking a pose in front of one of the many photo ops! Reserve your 90-minute experience ahead of time—spots are filling up fast!
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
For a seasonal surprise within a surprise, head into Little Italy’s Craft and Commerce and continue into their hidden tiki bar, False Idol. Experience a tropical escape with a festive twist: an underground oasis lit up with Christmas-colored lights and drinks adorned with miniature Santa hat decorations. There’s even seasonal beverage specials to enjoy—an entire list of them, at that! Will you go for the Elf’n Around, Naughty or Spice or the Jingle Juice? Choose carefully: they’re all delicious, but Santa is still tallying up his naughty and nice list.
Location: Little Italy
We’ve always been told to deck the halls, and being a true hall, Nason’s Beer Hall takes those instructions to heart. Located inside the Gaslamp’s Pendry San Diego, Nason’s gets transformed into a complete winter wonderland every year, offering guests that warm, festive feeling just from strolling by! Take a seat under the twinkling lights and the ugly Christmas sweaters and enjoy one (or many) of their many specialty seasonal beverages, paired with a juicy Nason’s burger or plate of smoked pulled pork.
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
Good tidings await at the tiki bar just beyond the freezer doors at The Grass Skirt! Pacific Beach’s beloved speakeasy is getting into the Christmas spirit with its annual Sippin’ Santa event, where the dimly lit, intimate bar and restaurant lights up for the holiday season. Cozy up and prepare for seasonal lights, decor and holiday drinks galore officially beginning on Nov. 20. Just enter through the unassuming poke shop to sip on seasonal surprises like the triple-rum Rum Rum Rudolph or the dual-rum and pumpkin spice-coconut syrup mix in the Winter Wonderland cocktail!
Location: Pacific Beach
As if the Hotel del Coronado weren’t enough of a holiday destination already, the Frostbite Lounge gives visitors and locals a whole other reason to stop by during the winter months! The Del says it themselves: it’s their place to chill, and nothing sounds better during the chillier months than a warm fire, whether next to the ice skating rink or overlooking the sands of Coronado. Grab four to eight of your best Christmas-loving friends and reserve your fire pit—complete with full food and beverage service delivering delicious seasonal sips and bites!
Jaclyn is a sunshine chasing San Diego native with an extensive writing background. When she isn’t word-smithing, you can find her playing beach volleyball, skating the boardwalk, or on a rooftop enjoying a drink in the sunshine with her pals.